A Swedish Christmas


What do you think about when you hear the word Christmas? Maybe you think about Candy canes, reindeer, or maybe all of that Christmas shopping you'll need to get done. There are so many things about the holidays that are special to us, but not everything we celebrate here in America is what others around the world celebrate. In some places people celebrate holidays like Kwanzaa, Hanuka, or sometimes nothing at all... kinda crazy to think about huh? Ha-ha Well, For our groups Christmas project we decided to choose Sweden to learn about. Down below are just a few of the cool traditions and interesting facts we found out about how they celebrate Christmas over in Sweden.



Traditions:

~There are candle-lit festivities, to Church feature Scandinavian Christmases, the mother is often the one to lights the candles on Christmas eve

~Only two days before Christmas do trees appear in Swedish homes

~Christmas eve dinner is called- Julafton, with a buffet with a main dish being pickled pigs feet, known is Sweden as lutfisk

~Decorations for Christmas include red tulips, often with heart shaped gingerbread biscuits known as pepparkakor

~After Christmas even dinner a family or friend dresses as a Christmas gnome, in Sweden known as a tomte

~the tomte is what Santa Claus is to America, he wears a white beard and has a red robe

~On Christmas day all of the children in Sweden , at three o’clock in the afternoon stop to watch the Disney special “From all of us to all of you”

Recipes:

Swedish Lutefisk

Ingredients/ Directions:

~1 piece dried lutefisk, sawed into 6 inch lengths

~2 tablespoons lye

~Soak the fish in clear water for 3 days.

~Add 2 tbsp lye into a gallon of water.

~Soak for 3 days in this solution.

~Then soak for 4 days in clear water, changing the water every day.

~To cook the lute fish

~Tie the fish loosely in a square of cheese cloth.

~Drop in a large enamel pot of boiling water.

~Cook 10 minutes or until well done.

~Remove cheese cloth put on a platter and debone.

~Serve with a white sauce or a mustard sauce.

Vaniljkakor (Swedish Vanilla Cookies)

Ingredients:

~1 cup unsalted butter, softened

~2/3 cup powdered sugar

~1 large egg yolk

~1 tablespoon good vanilla

~2 1/4 cups sifted flour

~1/3 cup raspberry jam (or assorted jams and jellies)

~powdered sugar

Directions:

~Cream butter and sugar well.

~Gradually add sugar, and cream until light and fluffy.

~Beat in egg yolk, vanilla and flour, blend thoroughly.

~Roll into walnut-sized balls and place on greased cookie sheet.

~Make a nice indentation in top of each cookie, I use the end (the handle end)of a wooden spoon for this.

~Put a little bit of jelly or jam into each indentation.

~Bake in 350º oven for at least 15 minutes or til pale golden yellow.

~Cool, then sift powdered sugar over them.


Songs:

"Raven raskar over isen"

Räven raskar över isen,
räven raskar över isen
Får jag lov och får jag lov
att sjunga flickornas visa?
Så här gör flickorna var de gå
och var de sitta och var de stå
Får jag lov och får jag lov
att sjunga flickornas visa?

"Sankta Lucia"

Natten går tunga fjätt, runt gård och stuva
Kring jord som soln förlätt, skuggorna ruva
Då i vårt mörka hus, stiger med tända ljus
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia

Natten är stor och stum, ny hör det svingar
I alla tysta rum, sus som av vingar
Se, på vår tröskel står, vitklädd, med ljus i hår
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia

Mörkret skall flykta snart ur jordens dalar
Så hon ett underbart ord till oss talar
Dagen skall åter ny stiga ur rosig sky
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia


Gift Giving:

~In Sweden gifts are given by a “Santa” called Jultomten, also a Santa figure is represented gnomes/elves called Nissar or Tomte

~On Christmas eve, the Christmas gnomes, known as tomte, comes from under the floor, of a house or barn, carrying presents. The presents are in a large sack over the gnomes shoulder and the gifts are left.

Weather:

~Sweden in December has a humid climate

~Temperature-The month of December is characterized by falling temperatures, ranging from 39 degrees Fahrenheit to 32 degrees Fahrenheit

Religious activities:

~Morning Church Services on Christmas day, December 25Most attend the Church of Sweden, which is a Lutheran church

~Saint Lucia day of December 13, is a day celebrated for her sacrificing her life for Christ

~Christmas begins in Sweden with the Saint Lucia ceremony

~This ceremony is before dawn of the morning of December 13, the youngest daughter from each family puts on a white robe with a red sash, also the youngest daughters wears an evergreen crown

~The boys in the Swedish family dress as star boys- which means wearing long white shirts and pointed hats

Interesting facts:

~They don’t set up their Christmas trees until 2 days before Christmas.

~They put candles, straw ornaments, apples, and gnomes on their trees.

~Most of the Christmas festivities are actually practiced on December 24th, and on this date presents are delivered and received.

~Silent Night is called , Stilla Natt

~Instead of eggnog the people of Sweden drink, Glogg

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